The Key to Staying Safe in College? Trust Your Gut

Students walking safely on campus

Students walking safely on campus

Colleges and universities take great pains in making sure the campus stays safe and crime free. Unfortunately there is no way to deter crime 100 percent effectively. No community is immune to crime or criminal behavior but there are ways to help insure your own safety and minimize the impact of criminal behavior on campus. Crime is opportunistic. There has to be an opportunity for the crime to happen. Students must think about and actively practice safety tips on campus to deter any criminal behavior against them. Being alert, using common sense and cooperation with campus authorities will improve the safety and quality of life on campus. Consider this list of safety tips and hints to remain safe on at college. 

Maintaining Personal Safety

  • Incorporate the buddy system. Don’t walk alone, especially at night. Always walk to and from class and the parking lot with another person. 
  • Know what’s going on around you. Take a good look around before you head out. Pay attention to your surrounding. Don’t wear headphones on talk on the phone. 

  • Stay in well lit areas, even if it means taking the longer route. 
  • Trust your own feelings. If you have a hinky feeling and the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Trust it. 
  • Know where the ‘safe houses’ and emergency phones are located on campus. 
  • Vary the route you walk to class, to work and to your room. Walking the same way everyday makes you predictable and vulnerable. (Click here to learn how to decorate your room)

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Stay Safe in The Parking Lot

Always lock your car doors and look inside the car before getting in. 

Know how to carry your keys. Don’t carry them in your dominant hand, the one you would use to fight off an attacker. Consider wearing them on a bracelet or if you do carry them place them between your first two fingers so you can use them as a weapon if need be. 

  • Put your valuables in the trunk or leave them in your room. 
  • Use the campus escort or walk with someone else. 
  • Park under a light.

When driving keep the window up if possible and always have plenty of gas. If you break down stay in the car and call for help. If a stranger offers to help, call the campus police also. 

Stay safe in your room or at home

  • Don’t prop open the doors to the hallway or outside. That is putting not only yourself at risk but everyone else too. 
  • Lock your door even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes. That’s all it takes for someone to slip in and lay in wait. 
  • Don’t leave notes saying your gone or when you’ll be back. You may as well leave a written invitation to intruders. 

ATM Safety

  • Have your card ready to use.
  • Go with someone else.
  • Use the ATM in daylight hours.

Look directly at anyone else in line and judge them for suspicious activity. 

Following these tips, staying alert and using common sense will keep you safe and very well may save your life. If you see a crime in progress call for help first before trying to help. If you fall victim to crime try to remember the details of everything. Make note of your attackers personal appearance so you can relate the eye color, hair color, height, weight, scars or tattoos and other distinguishable characteristics. It may mean the difference in catching the criminal or not. Being a safety-oriented student will drastically cut down your chances of be

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